My Mind Is Like A Bad Neighborhood. I Try Not To Go There Alone

So many times in the past we found ourselves in untenable situations. At some point we probably asked ourselves, “How could I have ended up here?” In the majority of cases we initially had no intention of once again following a path which was harmful to us. This of course happens to everyone on occasion. For the alcoholic or addict it happens far more frequently and often involves alcohol, drugs or food.
Once we entered the program, many of the problems directly caused by our drug of choice were eliminated. However, we still found ourselves in many situations which indicated that we had made some wrong choices. It might have taken a bit of work, but we finally realized that the majority or our problems were self inflicted. Had we only run it by another member in the fellowship, we might have been offered other options to consider. It was a big mistake to attempt to go it alone. It was that very thinking that got us into trouble in the first place. As they say in the program, “it takes five years to get our marbles back; and another five to know what to do with them”. Ask anyone with more than ten years of sobriety and they will tell you that they still run things by others in the fellowship. We are humble enough to know that individually we do not have all the answers.

Personal Reflection: Do I reach out to others for counsel?

The 7 T’s-Take The Time To Think It Through

Impulsivity has been a common defect of character for many of us. Sometimes it involved a trivial decision like subscribing to a newspaper or a magazine that we really didn’t want. At other times our impulsive nature resulted in us making important life decisions that weren’t in our best interests. Some of us ended up in places that were unsafe, or engaging in dangerous behavior or even marrying a person that we had just met and hardly knew. We then learned that although decisions could be made quickly and impulsively, reversing them wasn’t always easy. When we finally entered the program, our tendency to make impulsive decisions did not just melt away. We really needed to begin a program of retraining. Although we intellectually now understood the dangers of making snap decisions, new neural pathways needed to replace those impulsive ones. We learned that if we took a breath and paused before we committed to something, it rarely caused the loss of the opportunity. In fact, in most situations people were perfectly willing to give us time to ponder a decision before giving them an answer. For those decisions that had to be made on the spot; better that we lose out than commit to something that would cause us pain down the road.

Personal Reflection: Do I need to work on being impulsive?